Funding Options for Respite Care in Alberta

Learn about the funding options, and services available, to parents and guardians for respite care in Alberta.

Apr 10, 2024

At Entrust, we understand how physically, mentally and emotionally demanding it can be to provide constant care and support to a loved one with developmental disabilities. However, it is also important to meet your needs and to recharge yourself as well.

In this blog post, we will help you understand what respite care is and how it can provide a supportive break to you. We will outline the funding options for respite services in Alberta and how to find a supportive care provider that suits your needs.

Enhancing Quality of Life for Both Caregivers and Recipients

Caregivers are essential for loved ones with continuous needs. However, even the most caring individual requires time to recharge and practice self-care for themselves. If a caregiver is overworked, tired, and stressed, the quality of care for their loved one can suffer.  

Regular respite care ensures caregivers take a much-needed break to focus on other tasks. From participating in personal activities to nurturing other family relationships, respite support emphasizes caregiver well-being. Frequent breaks positively affect the social and emotional well-being of full-time caregivers. 

At Entrust, our experienced team understands the challenges that parent and guardian caregivers face, and we are here to provide support for you and your loved ones.  

Some contributing factors that can influence respite costs include:  

  • Initial Needs Assessment(s) 
  • Type of respite required 
  • Total duration  
  • Respite worker’s qualifications 
  • Your location 
  • Location where care is offered 
  • Available government respite funding 
  • Private insurance plans 

We realize that each family situation is unique. Thankfully, in Alberta, there is funding for respite care, and many care options to suit varying budgets and needs.  

Publicly funded respite care includes Alberta programs such as PDD (Persons with Developmental Disabilities) and FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities). Families must apply for and qualify for these provincial programs to access these public funds.  
Learn More about how to apply for FSCD, PDD, & AISH Funding here.

Finding Funding for Respite Support

Finding and accessing respite support can be challenging. Here at Entrust, we understand the obstacles families face when searching for essential respite care for loved ones with complex needs.

PDD respite services may include in-home respite support, out-of-home respite support, or other eligible support initiatives. An FSCD case worker assesses and determines eligibility for respite care on a case-by-case basis. These provincially funded respite programs can help reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for quality care, making it more accessible for caregivers and their loved ones.  

For example, one caregiver may be eligible for 100% publicly funded respite care, while others may have low respite costs using private health insurance plans. Some families can qualify for a portion of publicly funded respite care and then rely on private health insurance to cover the remaining costs.  

Publicly funded services for people with developmental disabilities

In Alberta, there are publicly funded services to provide care for people with developmental disabilities. Many families may qualify for publicly funded respite care, decreasing the cost of this essential service. Through the PDD (Persons with Developmental Disabilities) or FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities) funding programs families can choose from highly qualified privately funded service providers at little to no cost to themselves.

Respite care costs are not standard and do fluctuate. On average, major centers in Alberta have respite costs between $25 to $35 per hour. However, in rural regions, individuals can face higher respite care costs, rising to between $20 to $50 per hour (exact dollars are indicated on your FSCD Respite Agreement). It is important to note that with funding provided, these costs are not passed on to the parent or guardian directly.  

PDD or FSCD is either billed directly by the service provider. However, if there is a family managed service agreement (FMS), the family is invoiced by the service provider and reimbursed by PDD or FSCD.

Understanding PDD and FSCD Funding Options

Available funding in Alberta can remove the financial burden of vital respite care on the parents or guardians of people with disabilities. Individuals who qualify for provincially funded respite programs have access to some services at no cost or a lower out-of-pocket expense. The kinds of respite services families qualify for are indicated on the FSCD Respite Agreement, or pre-approved by PDD.

Loved ones over 18 years of age with complex needs on PDD may be eligible for respite coverage in their home or elsewhere. Depending on the situation, some caregivers can receive respite support for a few hours each week up to 24-hour short-term care. 

The FSCD program also provides publicly funded respite services for eligible individuals under 18 years of age. Caregivers may have access to short-term respite coverage to provide temporary relief. This break helps them attend to other family members, focus on themselves, or complete tasks without worrying about their children. 

Privately Paying for Respite Care Services

Caregivers and their loved ones who are ineligible for PDD or FSCD still have respite options within reach. Private funding choices, like private health insurance, can aid families who aren't eligible for the PDD or FSCD programs.  

Alberta offers private respite support services for all residents. Caregivers and their loved ones can receive quality respite care through private providers like Entrust Disability Services. How these respite costs are covered will depend on your family’s unique situation. 

Finding a Respite Care Provider in Alberta

Respite care in Alberta is more than just a service for individuals with complex needs. This vital support is necessary to keep all members of the family healthy and happy through all stages of life.  

Step-by-Step Guide to Accessing Entrust’s Respite Services

While the intake process and wait times may vary by provider. We make accessing Entrust’s respite services straightforward.  
This step-by-step guide details our process:

  1. If you are already funded through PDD or FSCD or are ready to privately pay for respite services, fill out our intake form here.
  1. One of our intake coordinators will schedule an initial consultation to understand your family’s needs, wants, and funding eligibility. We’ll discuss available service options, review your PDD/FSCD contract (if applicable), and explain our waitlist times. For example, in-home respite waitlists can take up to 8 weeks, while out-of-home respite varies depending on vacancy. For faster wait-list times, some clients will choose an at-center respite with a shorter 3-week timeline.  
  1. Once you are at the top of a waitlist, our intake coordinator will reach out to confirm the need for respite services and move forward or remove your family if you’ve found support elsewhere.  
  1. If you want to proceed, you’ll meet with our Service Manager. We’ll arrange tours of our facilities and group homes or do an in-home tour at your residence.  
  1. Next, we will guide you through the necessary intake documents to obtain respite care support through Entrust. Some documents can cover understanding your public funding choices or discussing private pay options.  
  1. Lastly, we’ll develop a unique respite care plan for you and your loved one's needs. Then, after acceptance, you can start accessing our respite support services. Our estimated onboarding time is 3 to 6 weeks on average following the initial wait list.

What Makes Entrust Different? 

At Entrust Disability Services, our qualified staff are here to provide ongoing assistance and aid to our clients. You’ll receive regular check-ins to ensure you are satisfied with our respite services.

We understand the uniqueness of each client for optimal care. So, we offer tailored programming options based on your loved one’s personal needs and interests. This approach ensures your loved one is cared for physically, mentally, and emotionally at all times.  

Our members have access to many resources and educational materials regarding funding and respite care in Alberta. We can help you understand respite care best practices and the available options in your area.  
Our Supportive Model was built on the philosophy that every person deserves to live a full meaningful life. We help people live the lives they choose through respecting and honouring their unique needs. Learn more about our Supportive Care Model here

Broader Benefits of Respite Care

Respite care benefits extend beyond the caregiver and their loved one with complex needs.  

In many situations, short-term breaks allow all family members to reinforce personal connections within the family unit. Respite support offers time a family may not otherwise get to complete errands or participate in activities together. It helps maintain a balanced family dynamic by minimizing burnout for caregivers and everyone in the home.  

Respite care is also beneficial for loved ones with complex needs. This way, individuals can be involved in their community, make personal connections outside the home, and participate in activities. Respite helps foster community integration for individuals with disabilities, enriching their lives.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed and need a supportive break, our team of professional care providers is always here to help. Reach out to Entrust Disability Services today to receive the support you and your loved one need. 

How Much Does PDD Pay in Alberta? 

Posted Apr 24, 2024

Disability Programs Alberta

To qualify for PDD, you must have a developmental disability from childhood. This ailment must be severe enough to impair daily activities and adult independence.  

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How Much Does FSCD Pay in Alberta? 

Posted Apr 24, 2024

Disability Programs Alberta

This guide covers what FSCD offers and provides resources for more information. Knowing the program and eligibility requirements helps make the process smoother for applicants. 

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